When the cares of life overwhelm us, it might seem easier to wish for death than to face the struggle. If you are hurting and trying to find a way out, please read on, for there is hope for you!
God knows your pain. He knows your doubts and fears. He knows that you have difficulties and that you even question Him.
A follower of Christ named Paul (who wrote much of the Bible’s New Testament) also struggled with circumstances to the point of losing hope. In 2 Corinthians 1 , he told the church of Corinth that he had suffered greatly while in Asia. He said that he and a friend named Timothy were “under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure,so that we despaired even of life” (v.8). Paul too was in despair!
But the story does not end there. He went on to say that “this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God” (v.9).This emotional struggle, this hopelessness that Paul felt, caused him to rely on God even more. He saw more clearly how much he needed God through this dark hour in his life.
You may not be where Paul was when he wrote those words. You may be in the middle of a storm and you may be wondering if you are going to make it. You may even be questioning God’s presence in your life. Your story, however, like Paul’s, doesn’t have to end in despair. It is in the midst of the most desperate moments of your life that you too can call on the Lord and He will hear you.
Is it possible that instead of reaching out to the Lord, you have been using god-substitutes to avoid taking care of your real needs? Most of us do that from time to time. We find creative ways of drowning our sorrows and dulling our pain. We are often tempted to use sex, food, materialism, drugs, alcohol, shopping — anything to try and make the pain go away. When nothing seems to work, depression can set in. Depression is sometimes an internal decision to shut down and a refusal to deal with the difficult struggles of life. This kind of depression usually results from a series of failed attempts to deal with some painful circumstances or difficult relationships in one’s life. The feeling of a depressed person is often, “No matter how much I try, I am powerless to change the things that mean the most to me. I quit! Nothing works. I give up!” It is at this point that some think about ending their life. You are not alone in feeling as you do.
So how do we work through these deeply painful and frightening times? I believe it is when we admit that we are at the end and can’t make it on our own. God will comfort us in our grief, sorrow, and disappointments. He will reveal Himself to us and show us mercy ( Matthew 5:4,6 ).
Some experiences in your life may make you hesitant to reach out to the Lord for help. But, if you trust God with your pain, He can begin to show you that you have purpose and significance. You were created for a higher purpose, which is to worship your Creator and to find your hope and strength in Him.
If you continue to struggle with thoughts of suicide, seek help from a skilled counselor, your pastor, or a trusted friend. Your feelings may not change overnight, but you can begin to act in faith and take actions that will lead to a healthy perspective on life.